At the center is Boris Makaver, a pious and wealthy businessman. His greatest trial is his daughter, Anna.
Unhappy in her current marriage, she plans to escape with Hertz Grien, a man torn between ascetic yearnings and romantic entanglements. From Makaver's gloomy Upper West Side apartment to the pastel resorts of Miami-amid family quarrels, zealous religious debates, crooked seances, and a myriad of affairs and marriages-Singer weaves a rich tapestry of American Jewry. Despite the character's fervent and often ironic attempts to decipher life's enigmas, their questions remain, for the most part, unanswered.
This darkest of Singer's tragicomic novels was originally serialized in the Yiddish language publication Forward in the 50s.. Now, finally, in its first English translation, it is revealed to be one his major works.